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Antivirus Android apps have exploded over the last year. Despite Android’s mostly secure internal security, there are millions of people who just like having extra security around for those just-in-case scenarios. It also doesn’t hurt that many phones come packaged with antivirus Android apps and that many of those apps have other features aside from antivirus protection such as phone finding and phone security benefits. Here is our list of the best antivirus Android apps! It is worth noting that prices may vary as many of these companies have promotions and price changes many times throughout the year.
Scans and deletes threats and keeps an eye out for others with features like privacy adviser.
Has functionality to clean devices from old files left behind by apps, corrupted files, and other trash that should be gone.
Built in data monitor for those who need that.
Helps users avoid WebView vulnerability by recommending Google Chrome to people who still use the old browser (Android 4.0-4.3).
It could use some anti-theft features like some of these other apps.
First up is 360 Mobile Security. This full featured and free application does pretty much everything you’d expect in an antivirus Android app. It scans and removes threats, cleans your device, and some additional stuff like a privacy adviser and data monitor. It’s highly rated with a 4.5 rating in the Play Store.
[Price: Free / $2.59/month / $23.17 per year / $116.32 or $139.61 for lifetime license]
Competent even if it's not well-known.
Lots of payment options and free is one of them.
Antivirus and anti-malware features include scanning, real time tracking, and removal.
Anti-theft such as locking the phone and remote location tracking.
The paid version apparently re-installed itself if it's deleted to protect against thieves. That's a new one.
Most expensive license is $100 bucks. We don't imagine many people will like that.
Some paid features like call blocking are provided for free in other apps.
If nothing else can be said about this application, it’s can be said that they’re flexible with how much you pay. The free version comes with a lot of features including antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-theft services. You can pay for a subscription monthly, yearly, or a single lifetime license if you prefer.
Includes your standard antivirus and anti-malware scanning features.
Secure web browsing features are included.
Data backup and device location services are also included.
Candid Camera Theif ID is pretty much what it sounds like. Take a picture of those theives!
You may have problems uninstalling this one because of the security features. It's doable but tedious.
TrustGo’s Antivirus & Mobile security is another totally free Android antivirus option that is worth a look. This one takes a more simplistic approach as it doesn’t offer too many extended features like other apps. You get antivirus and anti-malware protection as well as browsing protection and some other security features along with anti-theft and backup features.
Has more features in the paid version than some totally free apps on this list.
Undercuts its competition in terms of pricing by about 50% per year.
It put the pricing information in the Google Play Store description. I don't care what anyone says, that's a pro.
Has features for root users including firewall services.
Probably won't work well on older or low spec devices.
The real time protection is a tad overzealous sometimes.
Avast is another well-known antivirus company from PC and it’s Android offering is also above average in most areas including its pricing. While most places are looking for $30 or more per year, Avast charges about half that so if you don’t spending money and you don’t want to spend too much, this is a good option.
The free version comes with the basics like antivirus, anti-phishing, and anti-malware.
With over 100 million installs and a 4.4 rating, sometimes you can trust the public on what apps are good.
The paid version comes with a host of unique and advanced features like app backup, app locks, and SIM locking.
Anti-theft features are in both free and paid versions.
The list of features is too long for this pros list.
Most secure browsing features are locked to the stock Android browser that most people don't use.
This is not for people who dig simplicity. This is a security suite.
Next up is the venerable AVG AntiVirus app. It comes in two flavors and that’s Free and Pro. The free version has a fairly basic set of features while the paid version has most of the extended features. You can buy it in monthly or yearly subscriptions based on your needs. It’s another household name in the antivirus game and it’s a solid app even in its free form.
Very simple. Just install, run the scan, remove the crap, and the app sits and waits for more threats.
Antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-phishing.
Very light so it's great for older devices and that also means a shorter permissions list.
If you need more features and more protection, look elsewhere.
Even though Bitdefender has a full-featured antivirus app, we actually liked this one better. It’s wildly simple to use. Here’s how it works. You install it, scan for stuff, remove threats, and then it sits there and waits for bad stuff to try to come to you. That’s it. No ridiculous features and no nonsense. It’s also free. If you want to keep the Bitdefender name but move on to paid antivirus support, check out BitDefender Mobile Security.
Antivirus, anti-malware, and safe browsing features baked in.
Anti-theft functionality includes Google Maps integration, picture taking support, and scream mode.
Currently boasts a 100% detection rate.
Light on system resources makes it good for older devices.
It doesn't make you breakfast?
CM Security is a newer Android antivirus app that’s hit the market and so far it’s wildly popular and very highly rated. The app brings antivirus, anti-malware, and find-my-phone functionality in a totally free package that people seem to really enjoy. It has a lot of features and they’re generally ones you’d have to pay for in other apps.
Free version includes antivirus, anti-malware, and device protection including a service that lets you know when something is accessing your device storage.
Paid version includes anti-theft, anti-spam, and cloud checker services.
Smaller virus definition updates for those on limited data plans.
Low system resources required makes it good for older devices.
$75 is a big expensive even if it is for a lifetime license.
If you're looking for advanced features, prepare to pay for them.
It’s one of the more expensive options on this list, but Dr Web antivirus doesn’t operate on a subscription service so that’s a big plus over the long haul. With the free version you get basic antivirus and anti-malware protection along with basic device protection. It’s definitely worth checking out. If you want anti-spam, anti-theft, and a cloud checker service, you’ll need the full version.
Tablet interface which is something a surprisingly few number of these apps have.
Premium features include call/SMS blocking, advanced anti-theft features, and even a training course on mobile security.
The free version is extremely basic. You're either going all in with this one or you'll probably look for something else.
KitKat permissions issue prevents SMS blocking from working.
Automatic virus definition updates are premium only.
Eset is the maker of the popular Nod32 series of antivirus apps on desktop which are both highly rated and very popular. They have taken the opportunity to make their subscriptions per year only instead of per month and their prices are actually fairly decent. The free version is a little bottlenecked but the premium version is among the best out there.
[Price: Free / $14.95/year (license for two devices)]
A solid offering from a solid company.
Free version is pretty basic but offers the essential antivirus and security features.
Anti-theft features available in the free version. That's a win.
Paid version enables cloud protection and anti-phishing.
Real-time protection is a paid feature for some reason.
SMS bug in KitKat prevents the stock messaging app from receiving texts.
Poor performance on older or midrange devices.
You must create a Kaspersky account in order to even open the app the first time.
Kaspersky has made it to the Android platform and thus onto this list. They’re one of the most popular and trusted antivirus companies out there and that rings true on mobile as well. Like most it has a scaled down free app with a premium option available as a yearly subscription. The free version is pretty good and the premium features are also pretty good.
Antivirus, anti-malware, some anti-theft, and some backup capabilities in the free version.
Paid version gives you theft alerts, lock and wipe capabilities, privacy guards, and safe browsing.
Competitive pricing for the premium version.
Free version automatically saves device's last known location when the battery is low.
A lot of people don't like bloatware and thus don't like Lookout because it does come pre-installed on devices.
Alerts can be pretty annoying if you don't configure them to your needs.
Underwent a pricing change lately that put more of the free features on the paid verison.
A lot of people already know Lookout because it comes pre-installed on a lot of devices. If that’s the case, you can probably just keep it because it’s one of the best ones out there and you likely don’t need to replace it. It offers a plethora of features and most of them are included in the free version although you can get premium features if you want them.
Much like its PC counterpart, this app is lightweight and focuses only on stopping or removing malware.
Also scans for apps that may be abusing their permissions, such as location or other personal information.
It's totally free.
Recognizes that Android Device Manager exists as a reason for not having anti-theft. We like smart people who say smart things. The app also integrates directly into Android Device Manager.
Whitelist approved apps for customized security.
There have been a few hiccups here and there that expect will get fixed.
Some of the features may be a tad overzealous sometimes which may be annoying.
The famous (and free) PC anti-malware tool made its way onto Android back in late 2013. Despite some early hiccups, the general consensus about Malwarebytes is that it’s a positive force in Android security. This app focuses more on removing threats and preventing them. The developers have also significantly decreased bloat over its competitors. If you need something simple and free, this is a good option.
There are a lot of features and most of them are available for free.
App will literally lock down your phone if thieves attempt to uninstall it. Don't forget your PIN.
Anti-theft, antivirus, anti-malware, web surfing protection, call blocking, and app locking available.
We're not entirely sure why there's a paid version.
It's very clunky. If you need something slim then this is not it.
While the security is top notch, activating all that security is a pain in the rear end.
McAfee is another trusted name in the antivirus world although we’ve had reports that soon this will be changed to Intel Antivirus & Security so be sure to keep an eye out for that. They recently revamped their payment structure to where you get most of the app features for free including antivirus, privacy guarding, anti-theft, and device security for free. We liked that a lot. You can still pay for some extra features if you so choose using their subscription service.
Plenty of advanced features like app locking, privacy guard, anti-theft, and antivirus.
Has some other unique features like contact syncing and a central website to manage all devices.
Free version at least lets you scan and remove threats to your system.
Free version is severely limited. You're either buying this app or you're using something else.
Uninistalling the full version takes some effort and is tedious.
Last and certainly not least is Norton Security & Antivirus. One of the heaviest hitters in the PC antivirus game, Norton is also quite popular and respected on Android. They have a free option as well as a $29.99/year option depending on what you need. It’s a big name and it’s not bad although the free app is rather bottlenecked.
Pretty basic feature set but includes antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-phishin protection.
Anti-theft features are included.
Has a couple of unique features like the ability to scan links in text messages for malicious intent.
Free, ad supported.
Developers haven't updated since September of 2013 which isn't a good sign.
It says there's a Pro version but we couldn't find it anywhere.
Wolfguard Mobile Security Antivirus is the last fully free antivirus on our list. It features a relatively short list of features but its simplicity is also probably one of its strengths. It’s ad supported which may annoy some but developers have to make money somehow right? If you need something with some advanced features that aren’t that bloated then this is a good option.
Antivirus apps are truly one of the most controversial genres in all of Android. With all the stock protection, getting malware is all but impossible so many pundits will say that you don’t even need one of these. Even though that is true, there are people who feel safer with third party protection and don’t mind paying for it. Really, it’s a toss up. If there’s a great antivirus Android app that we’ve missed, please let us know in the comments!
Editor’s Note: Thanks to a change in how Google handles SMS permissions starting in Android 4.4, there isn’t a single antivirus or SMS blocking application that can block SMS/MMS on Android 4.4 KitKat. That’s actually a problem caused by Google and their implementation of Hangouts. However, many of these antivirus applications list SMS blocking as a paid feature knowing full well that it doesn’t work on KitKat and took absolutely no steps in warning their potential customers that this is the case. Thus, all antivirus apps that list call blocking as a paid feature and don’t mention that it doesn’t work on KitKat took a hit to their ratings. Those who list it as a free feature did not because it’s not a feature people are paying their hard earned money to use. It should also be noted that all antivirus apps that don’t list their subscription rates in their app description (where they belong) took a hit to their rating while antivirus apps that provided their price details in their app descriptions got an increase to their rating. Transparency matters.